CMEdi People: Q&A with Keiron Calder

Who are you, where are you from and what do you do?

My name is Keiron, I’m from the hillfoots in Clackmannanshire, and now live and work in Edinburgh.

I work as an Independent Consultant, specialising in industrial design and manufacturing.

I’m also director of K_N Design Studio, working on a variety of Product Design related projects from theme parks, to award trophies. I love to write and speak about design and personal growth whenever I get the chance!


How can people see your work?

You can check out the Studio’s past work at k-n.studio and you can keep up with day to day stuff on my Instagram which I keep relatively up to date! You should also check out my Medium page for regular blogs and playlists!


Are you working on any projects right now? Tell us about them!

I’ve been working away on some fun side projects recently which I’d love to share. I’ve been making a new playlist every month for almost a year now which is really cool. Each month I put together 10 tracks loosely based around a theme of what’s been happening that month, and I write a wee blog post that accompanies them and runs through my thoughts and feelings and random anecdotes. It’s pretty much an outlet for my obscure thoughts that would normally swim around in my head!

You can check them out on my Medium blog, and stream the playlists on Apple Music &/or Spotify. I’ve also combined them into one massive playlist which grows each month. It’s been a really fun process gradually curating my dream playlist.

My other side project has been printing posters based around the theme of positive vibes. I really love quotes, and I’m constantly discovering and writing down new ones for a rainy day! I print all my posters at Out of the Blueprint down in Leith, who are an amazing Risograph Print service who support young illustrators in our local community. You should check them out! All my posters are available on Etsy.


Who inspires you?

Dieter Rams is a big influence from an Industrial Design point of view. He’s given a lot to the design community and continues to inspire generations of creatives. His recent documentary RAMS really challenges the designers of today to be better. A wise man.


What brings you to CreativeMornings?

CreativeMornings was one of the first events I ever attended when I first started up my business. I’ve been pretty hooked ever since. Each talk is totally different and I always leave feeling really inspired and fired up! It’s also a great excuse to catch up with local friends doing similar (and extremely different) things to me!


How long have you been coming to our events?

I’ve been going off and on for about 3 years now! The first one I attended was actually in the evening, it was the Edinburgh chapter’s first birthday party at Whitespace’s offices and I instantly met a bunch of cool people who I still catch up with regularly.


What has been your favourite CMEdi event?

Hmmm tough to pick one because they’re all so different. David Hartmann’s one was really funny going all the way back to his childhood. He also had animated Gif’s which were pretty epic. Pete Thomas was really inspiring, casually dropping some pretty amazing quotes.

(Reality with Pete Thomas)


What advice can you share with the CMEdi community?

Figure out what you really want from life. Seriously. So many people spend their lives avoiding these really important questions. I did for a long time, and I can tell you that floating along can be fun for a while but it won’t last forever! At some point you need to gift yourself the time and space to really think about this stuff. People avoid it because it seems hard, but life is so much harder when you don’t know what you’re doing!

Once you have a crystal clear picture of exactly what you want, you can start taking massive daily action towards your goals. Not knowing what you really want is like stabbing in the dark! You’ll probably hit something but who knows where you’ll end up! Knowing what you want gives you control over your own life. (Usually the main reason why people go freelance in the first place!) #isntitironicdontyouthink


What’s your favourite thing about Edinburgh?

It’s a city that feels like a village! On one hand it has a quiet charm, packed full of character and obscure things, then on the other hand it’s bloody touristy, and constantly alive! You just don’t get that anywhere else. It’s a total anomaly. I felt at home the day I moved here and I never want to leave!


How do you like to spend a free day in the city?

My wife and I live and work along the invisible border where the New Town, Old Town and West End all meet! So we’re usually skulking about within our wee radius! I know it’s touristy, but I bloody love it!

I’d probably go for a walk down the canal, get some lunch from Pumpkin Brown or Hula, and then head to The Filmhouse or Cameo to catch a movie. Margaritas at Bodega TollX are always a good idea too! Taco’s Taco’s Taco’s!


What is something you love, that you think more people should know about?

I’m currently reading an absolute game changer of a book. It was written in the 60’s so it’s not always an easy read (and a bit out of date gender wise - ‘Man this, Man that’), but it is full of wisdom and I’ve related to every single chapter so far. It’s all about success and self image. If you’re into self help and all that stuff (I’m pretty addicted!) you need to read this. I actually think every person on the planet needs this book. It should be in the school curriculum (just update the gender pro-nouns first!). It’s called ‘Psycho-Cybernectics’ by Maxwell Maltz. (Could do with a jazzier cover also!).

Is there anything else you like to say to the CMEdi Community?

Life is non-linear! Small actions taken consistently every day will compound over time and make a massive impact! Concentrate on small consistent wins rather than seeking the glory of a big one! The big ones don’t last! Always remember YOU ARE ENOUGH! Cheers for reading Edinburgh pals!


You can follow Keiron on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook, and see more of his work at k-n.studio and keironcalder.com.

Find Keiron’s blog posts at medium.com/@KeironCalder and listen to the accompanying playlists on Apple Music &/or Spotify.

Check out his inspirational poster designs at his Etsy store!